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Carpenter’s Promising Night Comes To Disappointing End

(AVONDALE, Ariz.) April 2, 2016 – Race Notes

  • Josef Newgarden came from the back of the field twice to finish 6th in tonight’s Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix. A promising night for Ed Carpenter ended early after contact with the wall while he was running in 3rd place.
  • The two Fuzzy’s Vodka cars started one in front of the other in the 250-lap race. Ed Carpenter rolled off the grid from the inside of Row 3 in the 5th position in his No. 20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet. Josef Newgarden was just behind in Row 4, starting from 7th.
  • Newgarden’s night was off to a wild start right from his first pit stop of the evening. The crew was not able to fuel the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet on his first trip down the pit lane, forcing him to make an additional stop. He dropped all the way to the back of the field to the 21st position.
  • After managing to stay on the lead lap and work his way back up to 9th, Newgarden saw Charlie Kimball come across the nose of his car in Turn 1. Newgarden was forced to make another unscheduled pit stop for a new front wing and dropped back to 11th as the last car on the lead lap.
  • Carpenter was working to get past Will Power to move into the second position before his last stop of the race. As he backed out of a run to fall back in line, the car picked up understeer. Carpenter was forced into marbles and sent into the Turn 4 wall. He was unharmed in the accident, but his race came to an end on Lap 195. He was credited with a 21st place finish.
  • Prior to his accident, Carpenter ran no worse than 8th the entire event. He is one of only four drivers in the field who competed in the last Indy car race at PIR, held in 2005.
  • For the first four events of 2016, Newgarden’s No. 21 will feature a special paint scheme depicting the newest addition to the Fuzzy’s Vodka portfolio. The Commemorative 100th Running Limited Edition bottle, which celebrates the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, will be available nation-wide in mid-April.
  • Carpenter, the only owner/driver in the Verizon IndyCar Series, races exclusively on ovals. His next race will be the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. He is a two-time pole winner for the 500-mile race, capturing the coveted first starting spot in both 2013 and 2014.
  • The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is up next for Newgarden and the No. 21 Fuzzy’s Vodka crew. The weekend will begin with practice on Friday, April 15. The 80-lap race through streets of the California city will take place on Sunday, April 17 with a live broadcast beginning on NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. ET.

JOSEF NEWGARDEN, NO. 21 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 6TH: “The weekend went a little tougher than we wanted, overall. We got great performance out of the car, we just didn’t get the results we probably could have achieved. The race was difficult. If we could have stayed up front all night without having problems, it could have been different. We just kept going to the back of the field, first with the pit stop mishap and then with the broken front wing. We kept charging forward, which speaks volumes to to the performance of the car and what the team produced. It was a shame we couldn’t get a little higher than 6th, but it’s good points. We’ll move on to the next one and try to be a little higher up in the Fuzzy’s car.”

ED CARPENTER, NO. 20 FUZZY’S ULTRA PREMIUM VODKA CHEVROLET, FINISHED 21ST: “The team put Josef (Newgarden) and I in a great position all weekend. It’s been really hard to pass out there, which is surprising. After the warmup, I thought it was going to be a really ‘racey’ race, but everyone just kind of equalized tonight. I got a run on Will (Power) out of Turn 2, thought I was maybe going to be able to get inside in Turn 3 . It wasn’t going to happen. He raced me hard but clean. When I backed out to fall back in line, I just picked up a little bit of understeer and got the marbles. It is a shame for the Fuzzy Vodka car. We were a couple laps away from pitting there and we should be out there fighting for the win. I feel like I let the team down.”